SUN DIAL – Other Way Out/Other Way In

SUN DIAL - Other Way Out/Other Way In


Relapse Records
Release date: March 13, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

That Sun Dial’s Psychedelic style is a throwback to the 1960s does not warrant negative criticism, per se. That Other Way Out/Other Way In is two CDs worth of drab, aimless, excessively repetitive, poorly performed retrogression into the worst recollection of primitive, hippy Garage Rock, however, does warrant a critical word or two, along with a rhetorical concern for the state of mind of those who, after four decades of Rock’s musical development, still want to hear bad “stoner” music, and want to recycle this hippy nostalgia, originally from 1990, with a remastered re-release today.

Faithfully reproducing the harsh guitar sounds achieved when amplification and fuzz boxes were in their infancy, Gary Ramon meanders through drawn-out solos with no apparent direction, sloppily bending strings without much care for the destination note, and without much care for making a definitive musical statement. Sun Dial’s drone-jams can’t hold a candle to the memorable, musical montages of great 1960s Progressive artists such as Cream, the Yardbirds, or the Grateful Dead.

Other contemporary bands with styles originating from other eras have the good sense and talent to take only the best from their predecessors and leave the rest in the past. Yet, such talented bands as Monster Magnet and Smash Mouth are put down by 1960s purists as having superficial, “commercial” appeal, while Sun Dial, et al., are extolled with substantive, “cult” appeal — often in promotional materials by their own camp. Marketing ploys to promote garage band mediocrity as if it were superior is the true “commercial” fluff.

“They’re just Retro, man,” is the typical, question-begging comeback; but Retro does not equal good. While the prefix “retro” has been instituted in Pop culture as a stand-alone term to indicate a contemporary product reflecting a past style, it does not really denote the quality of that product. In fact, such terms are often coined in an attempt to deny weaknesses, and the perpetrators know that a good euphemism will easily intimidate the masses of fashion victims who are ready to commend the proverbial emperor on his proverbial new clothes. Whatever its “cult appeal” may be, Sun Dial’s re-release is indeed fashionably Retro and no more — and that’s the naked truth.


  • Jason Sagall

    Jason was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born in Illinois and currently reside in California, USA, where he works in the field of Information Technology, and is a freelance web consultant His favorite Rock and Metal subgenres include Classic, Progressive, and Power. He is a guitar fanatic and listen to a lot of Instrumental Rock and Fusion. Jason has been playing guitar as a hobby for some 25 years.  

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.